Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Destructoid review: Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure

2:00 PM on 03.18.2009 // Nick Chester

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is about as improbable as any one thing that can dabble in improbability can be. It’s the story of an English gentleman and adventurer, Henry Hatsworth, who embarks on a quest to find a legendary golden hat. Weasleby -- Henry’s nemesis -- is also on the trail of the mythical treasure, doing whatever it takes to stop his rival in his tracks.

Along his adventures Henry battles enemies who, once conquered, will fall into a "puzzle realm" where they can only be vanquished by matching like-colored blocks, Panel de Pon-style. Also, Henry can don a robot suit and crush baddies with rockets, lasers, and his heavy mechanical fists. So is it ridiculous? Yes. But is it remarkably entertaining? Absolutely.

Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure (Nintendo DS)
Developer: Electronic Arts
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: March 17, 2009
MSRP: $29.99

Henry Hatsworth is a curious mixture of two genres that traditionally don’t mix -- platforming and traditional tile-matching puzzle mechanics. Like peanut butter and bananas or tuna and corn, one wouldn’t expect the combination would lead to a successful marriage. But like the blessed union of color-matching puzzles and role-playing games in Infinite Interactive’s Puzzle Quest series, it works better than you might expect. And the way in which Henry Hatsworth forces players to focus on both the traditional platforming and puzzles is nothing short of brilliant.

The game makes use of both screens on the DS, with the platforming taking place up top and the tile matching going down on the touch screen. As Henry runs, jumps, and swims through levels he’ll encounter enemies whose -- once defeated -- enter the puzzle realm as a colored block. By tapping X you can then gain control over the lower screen, swapping the tiles horizontally to match like-colors and create chains. The mechanic is not just similar to games like Panel de Pon or Tetris Attack, it is Panel de Pon or Tetris Attack. But in Henry Hatsworth, there’s a clever little twist.

As the sack of blocks rise, it’ll afford the enemy blocks an opportunity to escape the puzzle realm and then return to the real world to aggravate Henry in his adventures. Of course, you don’t want this to happen, so quick matching and keeping them down for good is in your best interest. Additionally, matching enemy blocks and like colors turns them into an energy which is added to a meter on the right side of the screen. This energy can be used in the real world as ammo for Henry’s gun (and later, other weapons like bombs or a boomerang), or a larger chunk can be used to unleash a powerful laser blast. Save up enough energy and you’ll be given the opportunity to tap the bottom screen and enter "Tea Time," a mode in which Henry first sips some tea before donning a robot suit to wreak havoc on enemies in the real world. 

Switching back and forth between realms is not only seamless (real world action pauses when in the puzzle realm), but essential. Maintaining a balance between time spent in both realms is key to success, with power ups (health, area damage, etc.) weaved into the puzzles every now and then. Because the classic match-three mechanic is inherently fun, it never feels like a burden, either; heading into the puzzle realm often seems like a nice break from the platforming action.

The platforming is solid and diverse, with some 30 levels across five worlds, from typical jungles to an ever-changing and tricky-to-navigate puzzle world. You’ll also bump into some wild bosses, like Weasleby in his floating, mechanical hat or even crazier nonsense like a wheelchair-bound old man and his beefy female nurse. Each encounter is crazier than the next, and has its own unique attack patterns, which will have you pushing forward through each level just to see what else Weaselby has up his sleeve.

Early on, Henry Hatsworth almost seems too easy, balancing straightforward platforming with slow-moving bottom-screen block movement. Unfortunately, it’s a trick, as the difficult of the game ramps up significantly and without much warning. By world three you’ll be bombarded with enemies, having to frantically switch back and forth between screens simply to stay alive. Level design and enemy placement also gets a bit cheap, with some enemies placed precariously on small platforms that you’re sometimes forced to jump on and risk a cheap hit. Boss battles also get trying, some of them having the feel of punishing 8-bit-era encounters.

With that said, Henry Hatsworth’s DS adventure truly is a puzzling one. On one hand, the concept screams "casual" -- classic platforming, classic color-matching tile puzzles, and a likable, irreverent art-style. Hell, the game’s even published by EA’s casual label. So while it should appeal to casual gamers, the game’s brutal difficultly later in the game may prove too frustrating. On the other hand, more hardcore players may steer clear because of the casual stigma.

The fact is, despite some uneven (and sometimes) difficulty, Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is one of the most unique games on the Nintendo DS, and a blast to play. While some of the game can get DS-smashingly frustrating, patience and old-fashioned pattern memorization can save the day, and the payoff is exceptionally rewarding. Coupled with some genuinely funny writing and some decent replay value (you unlock an even more difficult "Gentleman" mode upon completion), Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is one of the first must-play DS games of 2009.

Score: 9 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)



Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ Destructoid.com nick at destructoid.com  more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
Hell yes. Nekro just pulled this from a Pokemon card booster pack. Don't judge me, I find the game to be fun, even if my deck is terrible.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
So I decided to tinker around with some assets in Source Filmmaker and make a still image. Kind of a Jurassic Park-inspired thing with dino assets from that Ark game. Care to offer some comments, critique, etc.?
LaTerry avatarLaTerry
I think I broke it...
Torchman avatarTorchman
I have joined the discord group! Now I can call your waifu shit in more than one place!
TheBlondeBass avatarTheBlondeBass
Everyone's posting about waifus and I'm just here posting a blog about why I enjoy a recent game instead. This is why I'll never be promoted.
Gundy avatarGundy
There is a Spelunker themed dungeon in Megadimension Neptunia called Neplunker. It even comes complete with Spelunker music and dying from falling off waist high ledges! 10/10 would game over again.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Reminder: We have an unofficial chat page on Discord! It's fast and easy to sign up and join, too! Just create an account and click this link to join: https://discord.gg/0koh7AdmqhhpYQe4 (Expires after 24 hours)
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
You know among all the bosses I've fought I didn't expect Vagina Tooth Dragon to go down like a bitch.
TheKodu avatarTheKodu
News Tip off for anyone who wants it. Seems Binding of Issac has been banned from the Apple IOS app store.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Waifu Wars piece is up. But also, I got the Trails of Cold Steel limited edition in the mail the other day and just now looked at the pin you get with it. Wow, that horse is one smug looking son of a bitch. Kind of makes me want to punch him...
ScionVyse avatarScionVyse
You can now buy Naruto movies on Steam. At least sell some good movies if you're going to get into anime Steam.
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
All right, you guys, time for the important questions. Fuck, Marry, Kill: Tharja, Sully and Sumia?
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The time has come for me to play Earthbound.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
As the Ultimate Waifu gazed down upon the Earth from her Celestial Throne, she sighed, for mainly shit-tier waifus were being chosen. But one fairy gazed into the stars, declaring her love, sacrificing dreams and spiders on an alter of glitter for her.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
When a new Destiny article comes out
Alphadeus avatarAlphadeus
Thanks to my girlfriend, we own a PS4 now. ID is Ikaruszino. I don't own any multiplayer games (yet) or have PS Plus (yet :p), but feel free to add me so in the future maybe we can play something.
Bardley avatarBardley
My absolute finest moment in all of Metal Gear. Also, the first time I had driven a truck.
JohnSmith123 avatarJohnSmith123
Ok. That EDF 4.1 game is really really good. You can even sing and shout "EDF!" with your soldiers! Holy crackers.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I want to goad my wife into playing RE Revelations 2 with me but I don't know if she can deal with the whole 3D spatial movement thing, even if she plays the supporting character.
Lawman avatarLawman
Heads-up: Mega Man soundtracks are free right now at the Capcom Store. Guessing it's a glitch. All of them are digital downloads, except for Mega Man 9, which is a physical CD that requires money for shipping. Link in comments.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -